Posts Tagged ‘authority’

The heart of the Sabbath

February 17, 2016

Are we really ready to trust in God and rest in His provision for us. (John 5: 1-30, also Mark 2)

church-JesusHealing

How God longs for us to come to Him, to be healed from our sin and to rest in His provision for us. In this encounter with the invalid man, Jesus probes not only the heart of that man but also the hearts of the Pharisees and through this passage preserved for us to read – our hearts as well.

To the invalid man, he asks what could seem to be an unnecessary question, “Do you want to be healed?” We are apt to think, of course the man wants to be healed, isn’t that why he is there at the pool? But after all these years of waiting, is it still in his heart to desire healing, or after all this time, has he resigned his heart to never being healed or perhaps he has gotten to the point where he is used to being taken care of and may not want a real change in his life, would he rather be in a place where he would complain about his situation or would he rather be able to take responsibility for his life?

And there is also the question for us: are we ready for God to change us? If God were to heal us of a sickness in our body or our spirit: What vulnerabilities would we feel if the sickness or bitterness or whatever is troubling us is taken away? What changes would have to happen in our lives or what changes would have to happen in our attitudes if we no longer could hide behind our disability? What self-righteousness would we have to let go of to let other people see a change in me? Are we ready to trust Jesus to change us?

It seems that Jesus was also thinking of the Pharisees reactions when He instructed the invalid man to not just “get up and walk”, but to “get up, pick up his pallet and walk”. He knew that when the man would be seen carrying his pallet that the Pharisees would notice and would verbally protest about “working on Sabbath” but in their hearts they would also protest Jesus’ authority which would be validated by the healing. Taking the offense, Jesus further challenged them by not only clarifying His relationship with the Father but by also outrightly accusing them of not believing in Him.

That leaves questions for us: Are we putting our trust more in Scriptures than in the one who gave us the Scriptures? Are we seeking more to know about God or to know God Himself? Are we ready to trust Him, rest in Him and  accept His authority over us?

The King is coming

January 22, 2016

The King is ready to bless those who accept Him and to kill those oppose Him. (Luke 19-20)

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The crowds were ready to be rescued by the Messiah. At the beginning of His ministry, Jesus tried to keep His identity quiet; He kept the demons from openly telling the people who He was and He ordered some of those who were healed to keep it quiet. However, in the days leading up to His entry into Jerusalem, Jesus by word and deed, became more open about who He was. He was openly setting the stage for a confrontation with the religious authorities that would eventually lead to his crucifixion. When He did finally enter Jerusalem, He was clearly placing his authority in the open, forcing people to make a decision about Him.

His set His authority by action in the way that he entered into Jerusalem on a donkey accepting the praise of the people and in the way He handled the money-changers in the temple courts. He set His authority by parables in the way that He set up expectations about how people use the resources He provided. He set His authority in the way He challenged the leaders to think about John’s baptism, taxes and marriage. He set up expectations about how He would give rewards to those who sought to love and serve Him and how he would give punishments to those who did not.

Are we preparing for the day that the king comes to us?


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